The Process to Create the Illustrated Edition of The Witcher: The Last Wish

Season two of Netflix’s The Witcher series is premiering in mere days, and Orbit Books is releasing a new illustrated version of The Last Wish, the book that season two is based on. To celebrate the book’s release day, Orbit’s Creative Director and SFF Book Designer Lauren Panepinto shared the process for getting this book made as well as the different Witcher book looks as they became more popular.

Panepinto wrote about the illustrated edition on Twitter and called it “one of the most complicated projects I’ve ever worked on” for Orbit Books.

After emphasizing that the Netflix television show is based of off The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski and not the popular video games (something you most likely already knew), Panepinto went on to share the work of Alejandro Colucci, who illustrated many of the European versions of the book. When Panepinto worked on the U.S. trade paperback versions of The Witcher books, however, she leaned on the concept art from the CD PROJEKT RED games, since those are popular in the states.

Once the Netflix show starring a gruff and gritty Henry Cavill (pictured above) premiered, they used imagery from the show for tie-in novels. And as The Witcher world continued to grow, Panepinto also referenced The Witcher comics put out by Dark Horse as inspiration for when she finally sat down to create the illustrated edition of The Last Wish.

The Last Wish is made up of seven stories and Panepinto decided to go with a different artist per story because she wanted to work with lots of awesome artists and also, from a practical standpoint, the project would get done faster with seven artists working on it rather than one. Panepinto then went on to praise the artists who worked on the book, calling them a “wonderful mix of established & new voices [with] a wide range of styles.”

You can read the entirety of Panepinto’s thread including more about the artists who worked on the book—Tommy Arnold, Jeremy Wilson, Bruce Brenneise, Winona Nelson, Jen Bartel, Allen Williams, and Martina Facková—here.


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